Friday, September 2, 2016

Everybody Loves Charlie!

Years ago Michael and I had 3 cats...Precious, Princess and Punkin. When Owen was a little baby it was hard dealing with a baby and three cats. Then I got pregnant with Jack and I just knew I couldn't handle all of that. Plus the poor cats spent most of their days in my room or closet because they didn't want to be mauled by Owen. It just felt unfair to them so I listed them on Craiglist and found them new homes. Princess went to her new home a week before Jack was born and Precious and Punkin were adopted by the same person and they went to their new home when Jack was 5 weeks old. After that Michael decided we were not going to have animals...we were going to be a pet free house. His thoughts were we didn't hold up our end of the bargain in keeping our animals for their whole lives. So that's how it's been the last 8 years. We can enjoy other peoples animals, but we are a pet free house. 

A few months ago our minds started to be changed. I don't know if it was a cat video on FB or something on TV or what, but Michael and I both started thinking about how fun it would be to have a kitten. The thing is we were always on separate pages. He would want a cat and I would say, "No...I don't want to deal with litter". Then I would want one and he would say, "No...we'll have to clean up hairballs". It was back and forth and back and forth, but we were never on the same page at the same time. 

I had been looking at Animal Shelter sites every once in a while, but I hadn't found the cat we wanted. First off Michael wanted a boy kitty...he had grown up with boy kitties. He also really wanted another black and white cat since our cat Lovey was black and white and we just loved him so much. He died earlier than he should have due to his liver shutting down. We felt that we were to blame for his death. See we went on vacation for 10 days and our neighbor was watching him and Precious. She was wonderful and she would spend over an hour each day with them, but Lovey had been so traumatized before we got him that he decided to stop eating. Not eating is bad for everyone of course, but for cats especially and if you can't get them to start eating again their liver will shut down. We tried everything and we even were going to have them put a feeding tube in, but it was too late his liver had shut down. Of course we were devastated! 

On August 25th I decided to look on Craiglist and I found the cutest 9 week old, black and white, boy kitten! 

I showed the above picture to Michael and I was so giddy. He looked at me and said....let's get him! I contacted the lady by text at around 10pm to see if he was still available. She texted me right back that he was and I made arrangements to meet her the next day to pick him up! 

I knew I did not want to let the kids know until the last possible moment. My friend Renee was coming over that morning to work with Ella so I asked her if I could run to the store while she was there. I needed to buy litter, litter box, scoop and cat food before we picked the kitten up. She was fine with that so I ran to the store and the kids had no idea nor did they ask me what I was doing. 

After lunch I told the kids we needed to go for a drive and they were going to get to watch a movie. They really didn't ask me what we were doing. I think Owen might has asked once, but I just told him I was meeting a lady. 

By the time we drove up to Everett I needed to go to the bathroom so we went into Winco...the location that the lady wanted to meet me. We all used the restroom and then we bought Sun Chips for another adventure we were going on in a few days. The kids and I walked out to the van and I could see the lady's car parked right on the other side of ours. I held up my finger so she knew we weren't quite ready. I had already texted her about how I wanted to film the kids when I told them so she knew to wait. I opened the back of the van and told them all to sit down. 

I snapped the above picture and then started filming. I posted the video on FB and for some reason I can never get videos to post on my blog. Basically I asked the kids if they would rather go with Daddy next week to Mt. St. Helen's or if they would rather go over to that car and pick up our new kitten. Jackson immediately said, "Kitten!" They were all a bit confused and shocked. They didn't really show a lot of emotion, but I knew it was because they were taking it all in. Ella was not her happy self because she was having a headache and when she has a headache nothing else matters. 

I held the kitten and put him in a box and sat the box between Owen and Ella in the back. Owen did a very good job of not letting the kitten jump out. On the way home I called Michael and told him I think I figured out what the kitten's name should be. Michael and I had gone back and forth since we decided to get him. He liked Zeus and Sox and I liked Tux and Figaro. We also thought about Oreo, Chester, Boots and Cole. Jackson said we needed to get to know him before we named him. 

When I called Michael I said I thought he should be named Charlie because he's black and white and he had been so quiet and Charlie Chaplin was in black and white silent films. Most of the time kitten's meow all the time when they first get moved to a new home. It's this homing meow they make to get their mommy to come. This kitty had only meowed twice and he didn't make a peep at all in the van. Michael first reaction was to say, "dang it" because he really wanted to be the one to name this cat. We still weren't totally set on the name, but it was a strong contender. Later when we were praying before dinner Michael thanked God for our new baby kitty...Charlie! I was so happy!!!! 

After an over 2 hour journey the kids and I made it home with Charlie! 

We knew that we were going to sequester him to the laundry bathroom so we brought the box in there. While the kids held him I got out the litter box and his food and set everything up for him. 

These are some very happy kids! 

Owen especially loves it when Charlie sits on his lap. 

From what we were told Charlie was the last kitty to be adopted from his liter and he's 9 weeks old....that's all we know about him. Oh and that he was litter box trained! 

I was so sad that Ella didn't feel good when I told the kids the news. I knew that normally she would have been ecstatic! Just a couple days before we got Charlie she was saying that she wanted Jack to get her a kitten for her birthday! After we got home she started to feel better and she wanted to hold him. She loves him so much! I think she's going to be like that cartoon character that loves pets so much she wants to hug them and kiss them and squeeze and love them forever! 

Ella had brought her Elsa and Anna blanket into the bathroom for Charlie and this is how we found him on Friday morning. Jack was not happy about that since Charlie is a boy kitty so he brought down his green blanket. 

Owen and Jack were the first kids to wake up and they couldn't wait to check on Charlie! 

When I was at the store I had also bought some of those toy mice for Charlie to play with and Jack just couldn't wait for him to play with them. I wasn't sure if Charlie would be interested in playing since it was such a new environment, but he was all for it! 

I made sure to get the same food that his previous owner was feeding him so he wouldn't have too much change at one time. It was nice to see him eating even though he only ate a little bit that first day. 

Owen would just love to hold Charlie on his lap all day long! Now that Charlie is getting more comfortable at our house he's not wanting to stay in anyone's lap for long...there is too much to explore! 

Zeke and Jack were the two that were the most fearful of Charlie. Jack has really warmed up to him, but still pulls back when Charlie gets too close. Zeke on the other hand doesn't really want anything to do with him which in normal cat style Zeke will probably end up being his favorite since he will ignore him! 

On Friday we spent a lot of time visiting Charlie in his "safe zone" the bathroom. 

We are still trying to get the kids to understand that they need to sit down and stay still so he doesn't get scared. That's like trying to ask the sun to not shine! Impossible!!! 

Charlie's really safe place was behind the toilet in the bathroom. He felt the most comfortable back there at first! 

He liked playing behind the laundry basket. 

Then we decided to let him out so he could explore the living room. Of course in just a little while we lost him! He's so tiny he can fit into the smallest places. 

We found him later up inside the recliner and we had him go back into the bathroom. His favorite place to hide is under and inside of the furniture. 

On Friday night after the kids went to bed we let him out to explore. It's easier and he feels more comfortable without all the noise from the kids. He was going crazy doing what kittens do...chasing nothing in particular, pouncing everything and just basically wigging out! Kittens are so funny! 

By Saturday morning he was really showing off his frisky side. Jack got to have some fun play time with him. 

We think it's so funny that Charlie likes to attacks Minnie Mouse. She's basically the same size he is! 

On Saturday morning we were getting a bit concerned since he hadn't gone poop yet. He had gone pee, but still it had almost been 48 hours so he should have gone by now. He was acting fine...eating and playing, but still this concerned us. Charlie also started meowing a lot about this time. Michael picked him up thinking he was sad and then he peed all over Michael. We put him in the litter box, but he ran right out. Michael decided to research some stuff online and found out that when kitty's get constipated they can cry and also have accidents other places because they've tried to go in the litter box and it hurts so they start to associate the litter box with pain. They will also start digging outside the litter box and try to go. Right after Michael read that he noticed Charlie digging on the floor and he scooped him up and took him to the litter box. Sure enough he pooped! Thank goodness! 

Saturday was the first day he ventured upstairs. We shut all the doors except the bathroom...we didn't want to have to get a kitty out from under our beds! 

One of my favorite things is when he's in an attack mood and will attack your hand. Even though he bites and claws at you he's so gentle! 

Where's Charlie!!! 

Charlie has been the perfect cat for our family. He's mellow at times, he's playful and he's really great when the kids are all surrounding him wanting to pet him. He also loves to lay on your lap and fall asleep....after the children are in bed of course! 

It's so cute to see such a little guy run around. He's really is so tiny! 

Of course right now everything is a toy and he's so entertaining. It's been nice to see the kids thinking about something other than electronics. They love to play with him and hopefully in a few days he'll be even more comfortable with all the noise and will come out from under the couch more often.